Spring New Gear

Spring New Gear

Sage, Freedom Hawk, Hell's Bay

  • By: Fly Rod and Reel

Freedom Hawk Freedom 12
The idea is simple: Stand up and fish. Freedom Hawk’s kayaks are designed to help you see and catch fish. Three years ago, Dave Cameron, the company’s founder, recognized the need for a better fishing craft, one that made use of the comfort of a canoe with the agility and efficiency of a kayak. Combining his mechanical design background and a love for fishing and paddling, the concept behind Freedom Hawk Kayaks was set in motion. When you get aboard, you’ll see why these hulls are one of the best innovations to fit the fly-fishing market in years. Go to www.freedomhawkkayaks.com


Sage Xi3 Rods
These rods epitomize the company’s three decades of accumulated experience in building premium fly rods. Sage has incorporated three new technologies in the Xi3 rods. First, the rods have improved torque and torsional resistance—allowing you to pull more efficiently and cast straighter. Sage calls it “SaltH2O Technology,” and it’s a result of continuous improvements in how materials are combined, and the resins that bind everything together. Second, Sage has also used all-graphite hoop fibers to prevent “ovaling”, giving more fighting/lifting power in the butt section (“Generation 5 Technology”). And third, Sage has varied the rod modulus throughout the rod length, to optimize performance and reduce rod weight (“Modulus Positioning System”.) These rods come in line weights from 6 to 16. All are four-piece models, and all are 9-footers, except the 14- and 16-weight models, which are 8-footers. Each comes in a bag and tube. Price: $695 to $775. The Xi3 series is the latest offspring in a proud lineage of Sage saltwater rods, including the FR&R Kudo award-winning RPL-X, RPL-Xi and RPLXi2 series. So whether you’re after baby bonefish or behemoth bluefin, the Xi3 series has the model for you. www.sageflyfish.comBuzz Bryson

Hell’s Bay Neptune
The Hell’s Bay Neptune is a sweet ride, at 18 feet, 6 inches with a 78-inch beam and drawing just 10 inches of water with a 150 Evinrude E-Tech outboard and a full tank of gas. The skiff weighs in at only 795 pounds dry. The hull has a long list of features, including a 38-gallon fuel tank, 30- gallon live well, 10 under-gunnel rod tubes and lots of dry storage. Hell’s Bay boat designer and sales director Tom Gordon said the Neptune will be the boat of choice for tarpon and redfish and other shallow-water species of interest to fly-rodders. “It’s designed for larger horsepower engines in the range of 115 to 150 hp and great for longer runs. It’s the first Hell’s Bay designed around speed,” Gordon added—which means it’ll get you to the fishing grounds faster. hellsbayboatworks.com